Submit Your Poems
Get Your Premium Membership

CreationEarth Nature Photos

Best Famous Charles Baudelaire Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Charles Baudelaire poems. This is a select list of the best famous Charles Baudelaire poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Charles Baudelaire poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Charles Baudelaire poems.

Search for the best famous Charles Baudelaire poems, articles about Charles Baudelaire poems, poetry blogs, or anything else Charles Baudelaire poem related using the PoetrySoup search engine at the top of the page.

See also:

Famous poems below this ad
Written by Charles Baudelaire |


 CARRYING bouquet, and handkerchief, and gloves, 
Proud of her height as when she lived, she moves 
With all the careless and high-stepping grace, 
And the extravagant courtesan's thin face.
Was slimmer waist e'er in a ball-room wooed? Her floating robe, in royal amplitude, Falls in deep folds around a dry foot, shod With a bright flower-like shoe that gems the sod.
The swarms that hum about her collar-bones As the lascivious streams caress the stones, Conceal from every scornful jest that flies, Her gloomy beauty; and her fathomless eyes Are made of shade and void; with flowery sprays Her skull is wreathed artistically, and sways, Feeble and weak, on her frail vertebrae.
O charm of nothing decked in folly! they Who laugh and name you a Caricature, They see not, they whom flesh and blood allure, The nameless grace of every bleached, bare bone, That is most dear to me, tall skeleton! Come you to trouble with your potent sneer The feast of Life! or are you driven here, To Pleasure's Sabbath, by dead lusts that stir And goad your moving corpse on with a spur? Or do you hope, when sing the violins, And the pale candle-flame lights up our sins, To drive some mocking nightmare far apart, And cool the flame hell lighted in your heart? Fathomless well of fault and foolishness! Eternal alembic of antique distress! Still o'er the curved, white trellis of your sides The sateless, wandering serpent curls and glides.
And truth to tell, I fear lest you should find, Among us here, no lover to your mind; Which of these hearts beat for the smile you gave? The charms of horror please none but the brave.
Your eyes' black gulf, where awful broodings stir, Brings giddiness; the prudent reveller Sees, while a horror grips him from beneath, The eternal smile of thirty-two white teeth.
For he who has not folded in his arms A skeleton, nor fed on graveyard charms, Recks not of furbelow, or paint, or scent, When Horror comes the way that Beauty went.
O irresistible, with fleshless face, Say to these dancers in their dazzled race: "Proud lovers with the paint above your bones, Ye shall taste death, musk scented skeletons! Withered Antino?s, dandies with plump faces, Ye varnished cadavers, and grey Lovelaces, Ye go to lands unknown and void of breath, Drawn by the rumour of the Dance of Death.
From Seine's cold quays to Ganges' burning stream, The mortal troupes dance onward in a dream; They do not see, within the opened sky, The Angel's sinister trumpet raised on high.
In every clime and under every sun, Death laughs at ye, mad mortals, as ye run; And oft perfumes herself with myrrh, like ye And mingles with your madness, irony!"

Written by Charles Baudelaire |

Get Drunk

Always be drunk.
That's it! The great imperative! In order not to feel Time's horrid fardel bruise your shoulders, grinding you into the earth, get drunk and stay that way.
On what? On wine, poetry, virtue, whatever.
But get drunk.
And if you sometimes happen to wake up on the porches of a palace, in the green grass of a ditch, in the dismal loneliness of your own room, your drunkenness gone or disappearing, ask the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock, ask everything that flees, everything that groans or rolls or sings, everything that speaks, ask what time it is; and the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock will answer you: "Time to get drunk! Don't be martyred slaves of Time, Get drunk! Stay drunk! On wine, virtue, poetry, whatever!"

Written by Charles Baudelaire |

The Sick Muse

 My impoverished muse, alas! What have you for me this morning? 
Your empty eyes are stocked with nocturnal visions, 
In your cheek's cold and taciturn reflection, 
I see insanity and horror forming.
The green succubus and the red urchin, Have they poured you fear and love from their urns? The nightmare of a mutinous fist that despotically turns, Does it drown you at the bottom of a loch beyond searching? I wish that your breast exhaled the scent of sanity, That your womb of thought was not a tomb more frequently And that your Christian blood flowed around a buoy that was rhythmical, Like the numberless sounds of antique syllables, Where reigns in turn the father of songs, Phoebus, and the great Pan, the harvest sovereign.

More great poems below...

Written by Charles Baudelaire |

Harmonie du Soir

 Voici venir les temps o? vibrant sur sa tige
Chaque fleur s'?vapore ainsi qu'un encensoir;
Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir;
Valse m?lancolique et langoureux vertige! 
Chaque fleur s'?vapore ainsi qu'un encensoir;
Le violon fr?mit comme un coeur qu'on afflige;
Valse m?lancolique et langoureux vertige!
Le ciel est triste et beau comme un grand reposoir.
Le violon fr?mit comme un coeur qu'on afflige, Un coeur tendre qui hait le n?ant vaste et noir! Le ciel est triste et beau comme un grand reposoir; Le soleil s'est noy? dans son sang qui se fige.
Un coeur tendre qui hait le n?ant vaste et noir, Du pass? lumineux receuille tout vestige! Le soleil s'est noy? dans son sang qui se fige .
Ton souvenir en moi luit comme un ostensoir!

Written by Charles Baudelaire |

I Love The Naked Ages Long Ago

 I love the naked ages long ago 
When statues were gilded by Apollo, 
When men and women of agility 
Could play without lies and anxiety, 
And the sky lovingly caressed their spines, 
As it exercised its noble machine.
Fertile Cybele, mother of nature, then, Would not place on her daughters a burden, But, she-wolf sharing her heart with the people, Would feed creation from her brown nipples.
Men, elegant and strong, would have the right To be proud to have beauty named their king; Virgin fruit free of blemish and cracking, Whose flesh smooth and firm would summon a bite! The Poet today, when he would convey This native grandeur, would not be swept away By man free and woman natural, But would feel darkness envelop his soul Before this black tableau full of loathing.
O malformed monsters crying for clothing! O ludicrous heads! Torsos needing disguise! O poor writhing bodies of every wrong size, Children that the god of the Useful swaths In the language of bronze and brass! And women, alas! You shadow your heredity, You gnaw nourishment from debauchery, A virgin holds maternal lechery And all the horrors of fecundity! We have, it is true, corrupt nations, Beauty unknown to the radiant ancients: Faces that gnaw through the heart's cankers, And talk with the cool beauty of languor; But these inventions of our backward muses Are never hindered in their morbid uses Of the old for profound homage to youth, —To the young saint, the sweet air, the simple truth, To the eye as limpid as the water current, To spread out over all, insouciant Like the blue sky, the birds and the flowers, Its perfumes, its songs and its sweet fervors.

Written by Charles Baudelaire |


 THE Demon, in my chamber high, 
This morning came to visit me, 
And, thinking he would find some fault, 
He whispered: "I would know of thee 

Among the many lovely things 
That make the magic of her face, 
Among the beauties, black and rose, 
That make her body's charm and grace, 

Which is most fair?" Thou didst reply 
To the Abhorred, O soul of mine: 
"No single beauty is the best 
When she is all one flower divine.
When all things charm me I ignore Which one alone brings most delight; She shines before me like the dawn, And she consoles me like the night.
The harmony is far too great, That governs all her body fair, For impotence to analyse And say which note is sweetest there.
O mystic metamorphosis! My senses into one sense flow-- Her voice makes perfume when she speaks, Her breath is music faint and low!"

Written by Charles Baudelaire |


 WHEN with closed eyes in autumn's eves of gold 
I breathe the burning odours of your breast, 
Before my eyes the hills of happy rest 
Bathed in the sun's monotonous fires, unfold.
Islands of Lethe where exotic boughs Bend with their burden of strange fruit bowed down, Where men are upright, maids have never grown Unkind, but bear a light upon their brows.
Led by that perfume to these lands of ease, I see a port where many ships have flown With sails outwearied of the wandering seas; While the faint odours from green tamarisks blown, Float to my soul and in my senses throng, And mingle vaguely with the sailor's song.

Written by Charles Baudelaire |


 AN we suppress the old Remorse 
Who bends our heart beneath his stroke, 
Who feeds, as worms feed on the corse, 
Or as the acorn on the oak? 
Can we suppress the old Remorse? 

Ah, in what philtre, wine, or spell, 
May we drown this our ancient foe, 
Destructive glutton, gorging well, 
Patient as the ants, and slow? 
What wine, what philtre, or what spell? 

Tell it, enchantress, if you can, 
Tell me, with anguish overcast, 
Wounded, as a dying man, 
Beneath the swift hoofs hurrying past.
Tell it, enchantress, if you can, To him the wolf already tears Who sees the carrion pinions wave, This broken warrior who despairs To have a cross above his grave-- This wretch the wolf already tears.
Can one illume a leaden sky, Or tear apart the shadowy veil Thicker than pitch, no star on high, Not one funereal glimmer pale Can one illume a leaden sky? Hope lit the windows of the Inn, But now that shining flame is dead; And how shall martyred pilgrims win Along the moonless road they tread? Satan has darkened all the Inn! Witch, do you love accurs?d hearts? Say, do you know, the reprobate? Know you Remorse, whose venomed darts Make souls the targets of their hate? Witch, do you know accurs?d hearts? The Might-have-been with tooth accursed Gnaws at the piteous souls of men, The deep foundations suffer first, And all the structure crumbles then Beneath the bitter tooth accursed.
Often, when seated at the play, And sonorous music lights the stage, I see the frail hand of a Fay With magic dawn illume the rage Of the dark sky.
Oft at the play A being made of gauze and fire Casts to the earth a Demon great.
And my heart, whence all hopes expire, Is like a stage where I await, In vain, the Fay with wings of fire!

Written by Charles Baudelaire |


 WHITE maiden with the russet hair, 
Whose garments, through their holes, declare 
That poverty is part of you, 
And beauty too.
To me, a sorry bard and mean, Your youthful beauty, frail and lean, With summer freckles here and there, Is sweet and fair.
Your sabots tread the roads of chance, And not one queen of old romance Carried her velvet shoes and lace With half your grace.
In place of tatters far too short Let the proud garments worn at Court Fall down with rustling fold and pleat About your feet; In place of stockings, worn and old, Let a keen dagger all of gold Gleam in your garter for the eyes Of rou?s wise; Let ribbons carelessly untied Reveal to us the radiant pride Of your white bosom purer far Than any star; Let your white arms uncovered shine, Polished and smooth and half divine; And let your elfish fingers chase With riotous grace The purest pearls that softly glow, The sweetest sonnets of Belleau, Offered by gallants ere they fight For your delight; And many fawning rhymers who Inscribe their first thin book to you Will contemplate upon the stair Your slipper fair; And many a page who plays at cards, And many lords and many bards, Will watch your going forth, and burn For your return; And you will count before your glass More kisses than the lily has; And more than one Valois will sigh When you pass by.
But meanwhile you are on the tramp, Begging your living in the damp, Wandering mean streets and alley's o'er, From door to door; And shilling bangles in a shop Cause you with eager eyes to stop, And I, alas, have not a sou To give to you.
Then go, with no more ornament, Pearl, diamond, or subtle scent, Than your own fragile naked grace And lovely face.

Written by Charles Baudelaire |


 UNDER the overhanging yews, 
The dark owls sit in solemn state, 
Like stranger gods; by twos and twos 
Their red eyes gleam.
They meditate.
Motionless thus they sit and dream Until that melancholy hour When, with the sun's last fading gleam, The nightly shades assume their power.
From their still attitude the wise Will learn with terror to despise All tumult, movement, and unrest; For he who follows every shade, Carries the memory in his breast, Of each unhappy journey made.

Written by Charles Baudelaire |

Spleen (IV)

 Quand le ciel bas et lourd pèse comme un couvercle
Sur l'esprit gémissant en proie aux longs ennuis,
Et que de l'horizon embrassant tout le cercle
Il nous verse un jour noir plus triste que les nuits; 
Quand la terre est changée en un cachot humide,
Où l'espérance, comme un chauve-souris,
S'en va battant le mur de son aile timide
Et se cognant la tête à des plafonds pourris; 
Quand la pluie étalant ses immenses traînées
D'une vaste prison imite les barreaux,
Et qu'un peuple muet d'infâmes araignées
Vient tendre ses filets au fond de nos cerveaux, 
Des cloches tout à coup sautent avec furie
Et lance vers le ciel un affreux hurlement,
Ainsi que des esprits errants et sans patrie
Qui se mettent à geindre opiniâtrement 
-- Et de longs corbillards, sans tambours ni musique,
Défilent lentement dans mon âme; l'Espoir,
Vaincu, pleure, et l'angoisse atroce, despotique,
Sur mon crâne incliné plante son drapeau noir.

Written by Charles Baudelaire |


 I AM as lovely as a dream in stone, 
And this my heart where each finds death in turn, 
Inspires the poet with a love as lone 
As clay eternal and as taciturn.
Swan-white of heart, a sphinx no mortal knows, My throne is in the heaven's azure deep; I hate all movements that disturb my pose, I smile not ever, neither do I weep.
Before my monumental attitudes, That breathe a soul into the plastic arts, My poets pray in austere studious moods, For I, to fold enchantment round their hearts, Have pools of light where beauty flames and dies, The placid mirrors of my luminous eyes.

Written by Charles Baudelaire |


 Say not of beauty she is good, 
Or aught but beautiful, 
Or sleek to doves' wings of the wood 
Her wild wings of a gull.
Call her not wicked; that word's touch Consumes her like a curse; But love her not too much, too much, For that is even worse.
O, she is neither good nor bad, But innocent and wild! Enshrine her and she dies, who had The hard heart of a child.

Written by Charles Baudelaire |


 ANGEL of gaiety, have you tasted grief? 
Shame and remorse and sobs and weary spite, 
And the vague terrors of the fearful night 
That crush the heart up like a crumpled leaf? 
Angel of gaiety, have you tasted grief? 

Angel of kindness, have you tasted hate? 
With hands clenched in the shade and tears of gall, 
When Vengeance beats her hellish battle-call, 
And makes herself the captain of our fate, 
Angel of kindness, have you tasted hate? 

Angel of health, did you ever know pain, 
Which like an exile trails his tired footfalls 
The cold length of the white infirmary walls, 
With lips compressed, seeking the sun in vain? 
Angel of health, did ever you know pain? 

Angel of beauty, do you wrinkles know? 
Know you the fear of age, the torment vile 
Of reading secret horror in the smile 
Of eyes your eyes have loved since long ago? 
Angel of beauty, do you wrinkles know? 

Angle of happiness, and joy, and light, 
Old David would have asked for youth afresh 
From the pure touch of your enchanted flesh; 
I but implore your prayers to aid my plight, 
Angel of happiness, and joy, and light.

Written by Charles Baudelaire |


 LONG since, I lived beneath vast porticoes, 
By many ocean-sunsets tinged and fired, 
Where mighty pillars, in majestic rows, 
Seemed like basaltic caves when day expired.
The rolling surge that mirrored all the skies Mingled its music, turbulent and rich, Solemn and mystic, with the colours which The setting sun reflected in my eyes.
And there I lived amid voluptuous calms, In splendours of blue sky and wandering wave, Tended by many a naked, perfumed slave, Who fanned my languid brow with waving palms.
They were my slaves--the only care they had To know what secret grief had made me sad.